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California formally petitions for zero-emissions locomotives

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California formally petitions for zero-emissions locomotives
Posted by MarknLisa on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 8:56 AM
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 8:58 AM

The most polluted air comes from CARB headquarters.

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 12:13 PM

“Reducing locomotive-related emissions and the resulting air toxic hot spots near railyards is a high priority for disadvantaged communities within California and around the nation,”

So wouldn't that mean that dealing with yards would be the priority, not mandating that every road locomotive meet new 'standards'?

“A new generation of locomotives will also, once in operation, offer fuel savings to the railroad industry.”

Says who??? Tier IV, anyone? I guess electrics don't burn diesel...

The Board said its goal is zero- or near-zero emission locomotives. Proposed “Tier 5” emission standards would cut diesel particulate (PM) emissions by 85% and 66% for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) below current Tier 4 levels. Newly manufactured locomotives would have some zero-emission mile capability.

So basically the mandating of electrification and locomotives twice as expensive. Of course, not on California's dime, who can't even pay to electrify Caltrain. Of course, we can't mandate zero emissions to the truckers, can we?

noted that recent studies have found significant diesel exposure disparities by race and income among residents living in close proximity to most of the major railyards in California.

Please don't tell me they spent a bunch of money figuring this out...

And they're trying to remove the rebuild loophole so railroads won't be able to cost effectively rebuild locomotives like they have for the last 80 years...

The perfect is once again the enemy of the good-especially for those that are firmly detached from reality...

 

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Posted by WM7471 on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:44 PM

Hang wire....move the power plants to Nevada.   See zero emissions!

Now wasn't that easy. 

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:54 PM

Um its called electrofication and catanary

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:58 PM

Watch the EPA and the FRA/STB square off, especially in the current political environment where EPA backlash is heating up.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:01 PM

You gotta love the IDIOTS and yes they are freaking ones at CARB.  We in the OTR industry call them the you Can't Absoultly fReaking Believe how we are going to Screw you next Board.  This is the State board that thinks sleeping in a 140 degree box is possible in the summer and also that demands DPF on reefer units when there isn't a Federal requirement for one at all.  They also are trying to declare any and all diesel engines built before 1980 as get this NON exsistant.  That means Napa Valley Wine Train will no longer have their LNG fired FPA-4's as CARB will say they are to old to exsist. 

 

Yeah the head of CARB claims to have a PHD but no one can even find out here she got her Bachalors let alone a masters.  They demand standards in excess of Federal Regulations and no one dares tell them no.  Well hopefully they start getting told no soon or CA is going to find themselves in one heck of a problem really fast.  Why even the Mega Carriers are tired of their BS and about to tell CA shove it meaning no one to haul freight into and out of there let alone make local deliveries.  CA is about to run head on into a steel wall called push back from industry they can either soften the blow or get ready for one hell of a head injury.  The OTR industry is up in arms about the 42 cent fuel tax hike we just got slammed with in CA not one penny is going for the roads all of it goes to the Pensions in CA. 

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:11 PM

Here in Niagara Falls we had a whole yard called Niagara Junctiion that was eletrofied untill 1979-

 

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Posted by azrail on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:31 PM

Expect more distribution warehouses/facilities to be built in Arizona and Nevada to supply California..it's only a 5 hr drive from Phx to LA, less from Vegas to LA

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3:54 PM

One small problem with your thinking.  Just how in the heck are you going to get all the produce out of CA that they do grow.  Salinas CA is not called the Salad Bowel of the USA for nothing.  Oxnard CA grows 80% of all the strawberries in the USA.  Bakersfield is where grapes and carrots are king.  CA has the reverse issue you haul into there cheap if your a reefer knowing your going to make bank coming out.  Why if your a CA compliant O/O willing to do multiple PU's for a broker they will pay out the nose for your useage.  Just on a whim I posted I needed 3 reefer loads out of CA back to the midwest was willing to do multiple PU's I was offered what would pay the truck 4 to 5 bucks a mile to haul back from CA on all the miles from one of our customers out there.  My boss is considering putting up with CA just to get his hands on that kind of revenue.  10 grand a load from a team truck for 1 load back would look nice on the old balance sheet.  Now to just get the trailers we need. 

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 4:14 PM

Shadow the Cats owner
Yeah the head of CARB claims to have a PHD but no one can even find out here she got her Bachalors let alone a masters.

https://law.ucla.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/mary-d-nichols/
Regards, Volker (Germany)

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 4:59 PM

The heavy smog problems in Los Angeles led to California being at the forefront of the environmental development. Without CARB and it predecessors there might still be heavy smog in L.A.

In Germany as in the USA manufacturers are very reluctant regarding environmental measures.

When I moved from Hamburg to Essen in 1973 there was still coal mining in the Ruhr Area. At the end of the day with open windows there was enough coal dust in the bath tub for some heating. Government regulations led to cleaner exhaust fumes from power plant, steel mills, and other factories. But to the end to the 1980s you knew you arrived in the Ruhr Area when you realized the yellow sky. Every improvement was forced by government regulations nothing voluntary.

Today the air seems to be cleaner here but NOx are unhealthy high in many cities.

So in my opinion there needs to be an organisation which pushes the envelope in environmental questions. Reducing NOx isn't just a cost problem, NOx still are a health danger. Here in Germany approximately 10,000 untimely deaths per year are caused by too high NOx levels.

If CARB's newest request is reasonable I don't dare to answer. But as technology advances there will be ways to further reduce harmful exhausts.
Regards, Volker (Germany)

 

 

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Posted by caldreamer on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 5:26 PM

ALL of the class 1 railroads have stated that they will NOT purchase engines that use urea.  so that idea is DBA *Dead Before Arrial).  Yes pur warehosues in Nevada, Arizona and Oregon. Both BNSF and UP run through all of those states and tell CARB "OK who is going to move the containers to the rest of the country from LA and Oakland, we are not".

the folks who work for CARB must sit at there desks and smoke that funny weed.  No wonder California air is so polluted.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 6:54 PM

She about 8 years ago claimed to have a PHD in Enviromental Sciences also.  However when people started demanded to see her degree in it she screamed you do not have the Authority to question my credintials.  A Law Degree is a long way from a PHD.  My Lawyer is a Jd Megyn Kelly is a JD any Lawyer has a JD it is a requirement to pass Law School.  A PHD is something else entirely and also harder to get. 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 10:25 PM
If she claimed that 8 years ago, you'd imagine a google search would reveal it. Yet I find nothing. California wants electrified yards. And they know they have the economic power to force the issue. They'll probably get it.
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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:25 AM

caldreamer
ALL of the class 1 railroads have stated that they will NOT purchase engines that use urea. so that idea is DBA *Dead Before Arrial).

That decision only can be held up as long as the diesel engine manufacturers are able to reach lower new limits for NOx, CO2, and particulate matter without urea. Set the limits low enough and the Class 1 railroads will have to reconcider their decision or stop buying locomotives.
Regards, Volker (Germany)

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Thursday, April 20, 2017 5:12 AM

WM7471

Hang wire....move the power plants to Nevada.   See zero emissions!

Now wasn't that easy. 

And, as a resident of Nevada, send a HUMONGOUS bill to Cali for polluting OUR air!!!  Either that or use some of the wire to string up the Calidiots responsible.

Chuck (Clark County, NEVADA, resident)

P.S.  Can't send the power plants to Mexico.  Donald wouldn't like that.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:47 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
caldreamer
ALL of the class 1 railroads have stated that they will NOT purchase engines that use urea. so that idea is DBA *Dead Before Arrial).

 

That decision only can be held up as long as the diesel engine manufacturers are able to reach lower new limits for NOx, CO2, and particulate matter without urea. Set the limits low enough and the Class 1 railroads will have to reconcider their decision or stop buying locomotives.
Regards, Volker (Germany)

 

 

I work for a midsized OTR fleet I can tell you 3 things about running urea systems over here in the states compared to over in Europe your not going to like.  1st is our operational conditions are NOTHING like what you have in the EU where length of haul is around 600 miles with moderate conditions year round for the most part.  Over here we deal with Deserts at over 100 degrees -40 in the winter where even with the heating system the crap freezes length of hauls can be over 2000 miles each freaking way and cover altitudes from sea level to over 13K feet over the Rocky Mountains.  Second unlike Europe 100% of all goods at some point end up taking a trip by truck to their final destination.  3rd our current standard is more extreme than your Current one in the terms of NOX CO2 and PM allowed and we do not want it tightened more.  We already lost 30% of our fuel economy due to EPA Mandates with emission controls in Cut throat market.  Lastly here in the USA we have a strong Constitution that can reign in over zealous states like these that want to interfere with Interstate commerce.  This case might be heading to Federal court with CARB as a defendent for violation of the commerce clause.  I know of several OTR groups personally that would love to take those idiots down a few notches and show them they are NOT GOD.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:50 AM

King Donald I'st would love shipping major pollution sources over the border, however, I doubt he would want to pay for the power to come back to the USA; even if in his mind there are no pollution sources or Climate Change that exist in the USA.  Now how can he state his policy + a insult in 140 characters.

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Posted by NSrailfan8114 on Thursday, April 20, 2017 7:36 AM

WELP! Time to Build a ton of More GEVOs and SD70ACes and sell them to BNSF and UP. 

Also me when I heard of that. 

 

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, April 20, 2017 8:24 AM

When will it be enough for the enviromentialists Balt.  Emissions are already 98% cleaner now than they where just 6 years ago from OTR trucks in terms of NOX CO2 CO and PM.  When will they say okay your good there is only so far we can go before it is physics of combustion can not be tuned any further to clean up combustion along with aftertreatments.  We are at that limit according to what I'm being told by our engine dealers.  CNG is not the answer the weight of the tanks required to get the 1200 miles of range we need is prohibative.  Electric all your doing is switching where the emissions come from.  Fuel Cells are not even an option.  The best choice for long haul movement of goods is a diesel engine and we are a clean as we can go.  What more do they want we can't get much cleaner.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:01 AM

Well, Europe isn't just Germany. It reaches from 71° northern lattitude to 35° northern lattitude.The differences are not as large as you believe.

Even here in Germany we have lengthy periods of 90+° F. In the deserts of Spain they are even higher. The temperatures north of the polar circle (66.57° lattituge) can be as low. European trucks are regularly tested in these conditions before being marketed.

Your passes are higher and you have longer runs. But I don't see where the latter matters. European trucks are constantly on the road only interrupted by loading and legal rest periods.

Most companies don't have track access. Those times are gone.

Our standards are currently still lower but we would be glad if the limits would be lowered and as important be enforced.

I don't know anything about fuel economy. Here is a link to a Volvo paper stating das diesel engines according to EPA #10 are more fuel efficient than the 2007 models. www.volvotrucks.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/VTNA_Tree/ILF/Products/2010/09-VTM097_FW_SS.pdf

My understanding is that all trucking companies have to deal with EPA regulations so all have this proclaimed 30% loss in fuel efficency. So all are equal? Where is the competetive disadvantage?

The question behind all this is how much worth is the environment to us. And I think there is a large difference between the USA and Germany. Here in Germany it is general understanding that there is a climate change and a not insignificant part of it is man made.
Regards, Volker (Volker)

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Posted by Victrola1 on Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:24 AM

Califonia has a perverse infatuation with raising taxation and ridciulous regulations. If California secceds from the union, should they apply for membership in the European Union? 

 

 

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:31 AM

I can go back thru my bosses IFTA which stands for Interstate Fuel Tax Authority reports before the EPA mandates hammered the industry and now.  In the year prior to the introduction of EGR into the USA as a fleet his company averaged 8.5 MPG on all miles driven for his fleet.  Now for 2016 running the current EPA mandated emissions we are getting 5.9 MPG as a fleet.  His maintance costs have gone up over 50% in that time also due to repairs to EGR systems and DPF systems.  The fleet has seen the B50 rate that is the time before 50% of our engines require an overhaul drop from over 1million miles to just over 600 thousand miles.  The price on those overhauls has gone from 10 grand to over 40 grand each.  The costs to even order a new OTR tractor has gone from 120K to over 160-180K with our Specs.  We have seen fuel prices almost double in that time.  Yet based on climate data that has NOT been manipulated to show what people want it to show the earth is the exact same tempature it was in 1997.  That is right overall the earth is the same temp it was 20 years ago. 

 

The earth and its climate goes thru a normal heating and cooling cycle my husband remembers being told as a young kid in the 70's that we where heading towards another Ice Age.  Now we are being screamed at the earth is to hot.  Which one is it pick a problem.  We know jack squat about the earth actually works on climate change.  Those that scream the loudest about it are the biggest hypocrits.  Take Leonoardo Dicaprio he flys into these things on a private jet.  Al Gore his Mansion uses more Natural Gas in a month than I use in 3 years.  The ones that protested the pipeline in ND left a diasater to be cleaned up that cost over 2 million dollars to clean up in dumpster fees alone. 

 

My boss strives to run as an eco friendly company as possible however when the costs of running one get to the point where he loses money doing so he has to say enough is enough.  With what CA is demanding it is ENOUGH IS ENOUGH from that state and their demands on all industries that use Diesel engines.  They think we can come up with close 50K per unit to comply with their demands.  That is what it is going to cost the OTR industry to meet their new Emission demands.  Even the Mega Fleets will tell CA hell no at that cost per unit.  There is a breaking point on all regulations and CA is about to cross it big time. 

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:00 PM

Thank you for the numbers. I didn't say that compliance with EPA standards came free of charge.

I can't judge the numbers. Which year is your starting point? So besides strikter EPA standards there were possibly other cost driving or milage reducing influences like e.g. inflation, higher load capacity to name just two.

I just don't know.

Your diesel fuel is still quite cheap. A gallon diesel costs $4.25 in Germany today. But you don't need to work any longer to buy it than in 1970.

I don't know the new Carb rules that upset you. The only thing I found from 2015 were optional (volontary) engine certifications for lower NOx emissions.

I think we have completely different view of the topic.
Regards, Volker (Germany)

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:28 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

My understanding is that all trucking companies have to deal with EPA regulations so all have this proclaimed 30% loss in fuel efficency. So all are equal? Where is the competetive disadvantage?

The question behind all this is how much worth is the environment to us. And I think there is a large difference between the USA and Germany. Here in Germany it is general understanding that there is a climate change and a not insignificant part of it is man made.
Regards, Volker (Volker)

 

The European market for cars and trucks along with its regulatory regime has for a very long time emphasized fuel economy.  Until the North Sea oil discoveries, almost all of the oil used in European countries was imported, and under a mercantilist economic policy, many measures such as high taxes on end-point use of fuel were put in place to encourage high fuel economy and minimal use of road transport.

The U.S. market and regulatory regime for the longest time had disregarded or discounted fuel economy as important, in part because the Texas oil fields supplied America with its needs until the early 1970s, when substantial fuel needed to be imported, and when the U.S. support for Israel, a country that Germany has also supported, resulted in the U.S. being under an oil embargo.

Whereas Germany and other European countries practiced Mercantalism, the Anglo understanding influenced by Adam Smith and David Ricardo is one of Comparative Advantage and Free Trade and that importing raw materials such as oil to which one's economy adds substantial value, hence the much cheaper fuel prices in the U.S..  That is, until the U.S. elected a leader of German ancestry who embraces Mercantalism. 

On the other hand, European countries have long had considerably more lax standards for emissions of everything other than CO2 -- CO, HC, NOx -- whereas the U.S. EPA and even more so the State of California CARB have been much more strict.  The strict controls of these pollutants more immediately affecting human health have always resulted in substantially reduced fuel economy and in turn greatly increased CO2 emissions, that is, until technology could "catch up."  The fuel economy of European cars was never seriously impacted by the emission standards in effect in Europe.

Part of this was driven by the unique problems of the Mediteranean climate in the State of California.  It is not NOx that is harmful to humans, by the way, but rather the sunshine and dry, still air converts HC and NOx into ozone, and boy does that affect people.  Being in Los Angeles in August in the 1970s, especially in the hot, sunny month of August, it felt like one had a chronic case of pneumonia all the time.  Everyone around you was snifling and coughing and spitting from chronic sinus inflamation.  Taking a deep breath on a "smog alert day" and you felt like the last third of your lung capacity just plain hurt.  You probably had such conditions and may still have such conditions in Greece, but I doubt you experienced anything like this from motor vehicle pollution in Germany.

As to people in the German speaking countries being very wise and the people in America being foolish, I was at a scientific conference in Austria in the mid 1990s where our Austrian host was boasting of the enlightened social policy on Diesel automobiles.  The fuel was much cheaper because it was taxed less, so a higher yearly registration fee is imposed on Diesel cars.  This was explained to have the effect that people who use cars very little are encouraged to drive gasoline cars whereas people who have to drive many kilometres every year find it advantageous to purchase and operate a Diesel car, in essence "allocating" the more efficient Diesel cars to the people making the best use of them.

My German language skills learned from my Grandma Pill from Vojvodina are not strong, so I don't know if I learned this from watching German TV during my stay in Austria or from the English broadcast of the BBC.  A truck driver's strike was threatened over a plan to raise the tax on Diesel fuel -- so tell me, why were those truck drivers in Germany planning a strike when every driver will pay the same higher tax and everyone in Germanys is so practical and sensible, at least in comparison to Americans?

It was explained that the lower tax on Diesel fuel had made it much cheaper than gasoline, and that this was the result of the truck drivers threatening strikes in the past, not the result of some enlightened apportioning of resources as suggested by my Austrian engineering professor host.  The yearly registration tax on Diesel automobiles was to compensate for the unintended advantage given to those car owners by appeasing the truck drivers as a political block, but the plan to raise the tax on Diesel fuel was upsetting this negotiated social balance.  So German politics is just as foolish as American politics were one honest about one's explanations.

What Shadow the Cats Owner is telling us that all of the fuel economy gains of the late 20th century resulting from combustion research at Universities in the U.S. and Europe along with the use of electronic fuel injection control on Diesels, resulting in trucks in the U.S. getting 8.5 miles per gallon, all of these gains were lost by the recent ever more strict standards of non-CO2 emissions, where a truck is now lucky to get 6 miles per gallon, about what they got before electronic fuel injection.  This loss in fuel economy gives a proportionate increase in CO2 emission relating to Climate Change, which people in Germany care about, and the U.S. controlled emissions, not quite as much.

It has been more than 20 years since I set foot in California so I don't know if the ever more strict pollution controls have helped people breathe better.  What I do know is that car pollution must have been reduced to such an extent yet the smog problem remains that California is regulating the fumes given off by paint -- do you have such regulations in the EU?  Again, having a large human population, made even larger by immigration from all parts of the world, in a climate given to photochemical conversion of paint fumes and the smoke from backyard barbecue grills into lung-hurting ozone, maybe this is one of the foolish American ideas.

 

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:48 PM

Shadow the Cats owner

 

The earth and its climate goes thru a normal heating and cooling cycle my husband remembers being told as a young kid in the 70's that we where heading towards another Ice Age.  Now we are being screamed at the earth is to hot.  Which one is it pick a problem.  We know jack squat about the earth actually works on climate change.  Those that scream the loudest about it are the biggest hypocrits.  Take Leonoardo Dicaprio he flys into these things on a private jet.  Al Gore his Mansion uses more Natural Gas in a month than I use in 3 years.  The ones that protested the pipeline in ND left a diasater to be cleaned up that cost over 2 million dollars to clean up in dumpster fees alone. 

 

My boss strives to run as an eco friendly company as possible however when the costs of running one get to the point where he loses money doing so he has to say enough is enough.  With what CA is demanding it is ENOUGH IS ENOUGH from that state and their demands on all industries that use Diesel engines.  They think we can come up with close 50K per unit to comply with their demands.  That is what it is going to cost the OTR industry to meet their new Emission demands.  Even the Mega Fleets will tell CA hell no at that cost per unit.  There is a breaking point on all regulations and CA is about to cross it big time. 

 

We debated CO2 and Climate Change here, perhaps to the consternation of our Moderators, because the topic was brought up on the pages of Trains Magazine.  Can an article in Trains be deemed too controversial to discuss on the Forum?

But what our esteemed guest from Germany may be confusing, or he may have this right and we are confused, is that the control of CO2 emissions, believed by many in the scientific community to contribute to Climate Change, works to cross purposes of the current EPA and CARB regulations on Diesel particulates and NOx, which have very little effect on Climate Change, at least not directly.  CO2 is perfectly harmless to human health whereas NOx has a bad influence, so if we save the Climate by improving fuel economy to reduce CO2, we will also increase NOx to kill more of us off, further reducing CO2 emissions?

What you are saying is that the ever stricter regs on your fleet Diesel engines may result in ever more diminishing benefits to public health, but it is just killing truckers in terms of higher fuel bills and increased maintenance.  Not to mention greatly increased CO2 emissions that are regarded as harming the Climate.  And killing you reduces everyone's standard of living.  Even if the U.S. is an extremely wealthy country by world standards, given the cost of taxes, housing, healthcare, many working families struggle to pay their bills and not end up in debt they cannot pay.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:59 PM

The Volkswagen TDI Diesel scandal may also have been driven by differing values between Germany and the U.S.?

Diesel automobiles have long been operated in Germany where fuel economy (meaning lower CO2 emissions affecting Climate Change) are the foremost consideration.  The U.S. authorities have long looked askance at Diesel automobiles on account of their non-CO2 emissions, that is, until Volkswagen introduced their TDI "Clean Diesel" -- see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9ciAi8e-e0 -- the tag line is "Truth in Engineering."

So the "Clean Diesel" may save the climate by emitting much less CO2, but it blatantly violates EPA NOx regulations (if not creatively -- speaking as someone from the Slavic German Diaspora, I didn't know that anyone in Germany, where strict adherence to rules is a cultural imperative, in contrast with countries to the South where such corruption is a way-of-life, had this in them).

Are people in Germany happy that one of their largest industrial concerns is being punished with multi-billion dollar fines payable to the U.S. Treasury for trying to save the Climate from CO2 emissions?  That an executive from this company who travelled to Florida was jailed?  I am not saying one way or the other -- maybe the "street" in Germany believes Volkswagen and its investors are getting their "just deserts" for violating U.S. laws?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by YoHo1975 on Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:42 PM

Paul Milenkovic

 

It has been more than 20 years since I set foot in California so I don't know if the ever more strict pollution controls have helped people breathe better.  What I do know is that car pollution must have been reduced to such an extent yet the smog problem remains that California is regulating the fumes given off by paint -- do you have such regulations in the EU?  Again, having a large human population, made even larger by immigration from all parts of the world, in a climate given to photochemical conversion of paint fumes and the smoke from backyard barbecue grills into lung-hurting ozone, maybe this is one of the foolish American ideas.

 

 

 

LA still has smog, but it is significantly improved compared to the 70s. The current Air quality problems are the central valley. I think Modesto is currently listed as the worst with Bakersfield coming in behind. I can speak from experience that when I lived a mile from Davis yard in Roseville, my health suffered more than when I moved some miles further away. 

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Friday, April 21, 2017 11:51 AM

Paul Milenkovic
Whereas Germany and other European countries practiced Mercantalism,

There is Germany or EU first. Mercantilism is a thing of the past. As an export country we can't afford it. Me comment about fuel prices is to show that even with a much higher diesel price in Germany transportation works.

Paul Milenkovic
On the other hand, European countries have long had considerably more lax standards for emissions

That is still true and even worse we don't have an agency like EPA to enforce the regulations.

We had our share of smog in Germany. In the Ruhr Area we had bans on driving because of high NOx in the 1980s. Stuttgart has announced bans on diesel passenger cars in special weather situation for 2018.

The smog was attributed to heavy industries and coal power plants so in the beginning the emphasis lay on regulations to make the industries cleaner.

Exhaust catalysts got mandatory for new cars in 1989.

As you said because of the German goals to cut down on greenhouse gases the main focus was on CO2. As diesel cars need less fuel and thus produce less CO2 diesel got a tax deduction. The health risks of particulate matter and NOx were overlooked, ignored whatever.

Paul Milenkovic
why were those truck drivers in Germany planning a strike when every driver will pay the same higher tax and everyone in Germanys is so practical and sensible, at least in comparison to Americans?

1. I talked about higher diesel costs for trucking companies

2. I don't know of any announced strike of German truck drivers. I didn't find anything on the unions website. German workers are allowed to strike for better work conditions (Wage etc,) but not for political reasons (lower taxes). In other European country this is different. Strike announcements of German truck drivers often came with the same picture a few times. These were qualified on facebook as fake.

3. There were truck driver strikes in southern Europe after the 2008 bank crash when fuel prices rose about 35% in a very short time while the wages dropped because of the commercial crisis.

As each EU country still has its own fuel tax system I can only speak for Germany. Here the reduced tax was introduced to assist the agriculural and trucking industry in the 1980s (?). At  that time already a lot of foreign trucks were on German roads. They were able to transit Germany without refueling and thus  profiting from much lower fuel costs in their home county. There were no strikes involved as far as I know. The reduction was kept because of the lower CO2 emissions when the private diesel car sector took of .

When I see fuel milage development over an unknown time span I ask myself what has perhaps happened beside EPA regulations with influence on fuel efficiency. It is the same wiith price rises. How much is inflation.

I have been in the L.A. smog in the late 1970s. After that experience I avoided L.A. whenever possible.

For work safety reasons the EU banned a number of solvents. IIRC there evaporation limits for Formaldehyde in wood products for interior use. There might be others. For exterior products I don't know.

We have more problems with enviromental associations who can stop infrastructure projects for many years. The deepining of the river Elbe is pending for more than ten years. The Port of Hamburg depends on the river Elbe.
Regards, Volker (Germany)

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